Update — MDA Proposed sale and after

May 22
MDA working with Mars spacecraft
(The Gazette) MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. said yesterday its engineers are supporting the Phoenix Mars spacecraft, expected to land Sunday on the red planet.
Engineers from MDA’s information systems group are working with the weather and robotics systems on NASA’s Phoenix spacecraft, which was designed and built by the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co.
May 16
Ottawa hands $109M contract extension to MDA
(The Canadian Press) Only hours after confirming his decision to block a controversial foreign takeover of part of MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (TSX: MDA), federal Industry Minister Jim Prentice announced a major contract between the company and the Canadian Space Agency.
In a speech at the space agency in the Montreal area last Friday, Prentice said the government has awarded a four-year $109-million contract extension for the Vancouver company, also known as MDA.
Under the deal, MDA will continue to provide logistics and engineering and technology services for the Canadian-made mobile servicing system on the International Space Station.
May 14
MDA still strong, despite blocked space division deal
(National Post) Strip away the messy politics that MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates Ltd. has been immersed in for the past few months, and you’re left with a company
primed for strong growth.
That, at least, is the opinion of two analysts weighing in on the company that saw the high-profile $1.325-billion sale of its space division blocked
last week in an unprecedented move by Industry Minister Jim Prentice.
May 9
Govt. confirms decision to block sale of MDA space division
(CBC) The Canadian government delivered official word Friday of its decision to block the $1.3-billion sale of Vancouver-based MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates’ space-technology division to a U.S. space and weapons company.
Federal Industry Minister Jim Prentice made the announcement early Friday in a release, following what he called an “extensive and rigorous review process” of the proposed sale to Minnesota-based Alliant Techsystems Inc., also known as ATK.
“I have confirmed my initial decision that I am not satisfied that ATK’s proposed acquisition of the Information Systems Business of MDA would likely be of net benefit to Canada,” he said.
MDA future dim after space sale blocked: analysts
BRENDA BOUW
The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — — Ottawa’s confirmation it will block the $1.3-billion sale of MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.’s space division, coupled with a slowdown in the real estate sector where the company concentrates its other business, spells tough times ahead for the company, analysts say.

January 11, 2008
Sale of MDA units leaves Canada’s space ambitions in the air: Garneau
The announced sale of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.’s satellite and space businesses to a U.S. company raises questions about Canada’s future role in space and whether the country can maintain a satellite program of its own, according to the former head of the Canadian Space Agency
.
Richmond, B.C.-based MDA, best known for developing the distinctive Canadarm space shuttle technology, announced late Tuesday it had sold the aerospace businesses to U.S. weapons and rocket maker Alliant Techsystems of Edina, Minn., as part of a $1.325-billion cash deal.
The sale includes the division that developed the Canadarm robotic arm, used on space shuttle missions and on the International Space Station, and also includes ownership and operation of Radarsat-2, a satellite launched in December that government, space and military officials said would act as a tool to protect Canada’s Arctic sovereignty.
Ex-astronaut and former Canadian Space Agency head Marc Garneau told CBC News the sale raises the delicate issue of whether Canada wants its eye on the Arctic run by a foreign company.
“The concern is we might not have 100 per cent control of that satellite from now on,” said Garneau, who is running as a Liberal candidate in the next federal election.
… the MDA units for sale — which employ 1,900 people, including 800 engineers — represent “the crown jewel” of robotics and aerospace work in Canada, Garneau said.
… Garneau added that should the MDA sale go through, Canada’s lack of a national space policy would be to blame. He points to the government’s refusal in September 2006 to support a contract that would have allowed MDA and others to build the European Space Agency’s Mars surface rover as an example of a lack of commitment to space programs.
MDA had asked for $100 million over 10 years to be redirected from existing Canadian Space Agency projects to go to fund the manufacture of the ExoMars rover for its planned exploration of Mars by 2015.
“If you’re going to say MDA must stay Canadian, it involves a level of commitment, and that means making it viable for a company to do business here,” Garneau said.

One Comment on "Update — MDA Proposed sale and after"

  1. Diana Thébaud Nicholson January 18, 2008 at 7:30 pm · Reply

    MDA engineer quits over sale to U.S. weapons company
    (CTV.ca News) The Tories are under pressure to block the proposed sale of a division of Richmond, B.C.-based MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates — the maker of the Canadarm — to an American arms-maker.
    Last week, MDA, a provider of essential information solutions, announced the sale of its Information Systems and Geospatial Services operations to Minnesota-based Alliant Techsystems (ATK) for $1.325 billion in cash.

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